ProPropertyNewsADB Revives Offer to Finance ML-1 Railway Project

ADB Revives Offer to Finance ML-1 Railway Project

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has stepped up again as a potential financer for the $10 billion Karachi-Peshawar railway line, also known as Main Line-1, following delays in funding arrangements with China.

As per the details, Planning Secretary Syed Zafar Ali Shah recently revealed that the ADB has expressed interest in financing the project.

Although the government is still pursuing a part of the project with China, it presents a big challenge to decide on the project, he added.

The ADB was initially removed from the project due to China’s desire to fund it single-handedly as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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However, the two governments were unable to finalize the financing agreement for the project for almost 6 years, leading to cost escalations and setbacks for CPEC.

The recent deterioration of the project’s infrastructure and last year’s floods have led the new government to attempt to revive Main Line-1 in phases, starting from Sindh.

In 2017, Pakistan’s minister for planning, Ahsan Iqbal, announced that the country had declined part financing from the ADB after China argued that two-sourced financing would create problems for the project.

Besides, the planning secretary also confirmed that the government has finalized an early-harvest program that will secure $1 billion to $1.5 billion in funding from the World Bank, ADB, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) during the current fiscal year for flood relief efforts.

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